The country’s goal to reduce nitrogen output by 2030 will force some Dutch farmers out of business, according to a government plan published earlier this month. Hundreds of farmers gathered to protest against it on Tuesday.
The target, planned to comply with European Union rules on reducing nitrogen pollution, will require breaks of as much as 95% in emissions in some provinces, official data showed.
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The Netherlands is the second-largest exporter of agricultural products, with estimated exports of 104.7 billion euros ($111 billion) in 2021, according to Wageningen University. Cattle and fertilizers are key sources of nitrogen emissions.
The farmers brought cows to The Hague and threatened to slaughter the animals on Tuesday in protest of the Netherlands’ $26 billion climate plan that could reduce the livestock population by 30%.